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As the new director at the Sitka AK library, Robb Farmer has lots of new ideas.
Farmer spent the last nine years at the Faulkner University Law Library in Alabama. He’s a lawyer himself, but says he enjoyed legal research more than the actual practice of law, and he found a way to stay in the library full-time.
But he was looking at the American Library Association job listings recently, and saw an unusual submission. Allowed only five keywords to help guide applicants, someone had posted…
“Best, Library, Director, Job, Ever”
Farmer had never seen or heard of Sitka. He checked out the listing. Of course, Sitka is spectacular. Those keywords, though, spoke volumes.
“It showed they had a sense of humor. When working in law schools and academia, sometimes they appreciate a sense of humor, but sometimes they don’t.”
Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) said spendthrift Thomas Galante’s undisclosed side gig — which paid $287,100 in less than two years — as a business consultant to a Long Island school district was the last straw. Galante also spent $140,000 in library funds on renovations to his executive offices. ‘I urge you to consider the interests of the library and its patrons and resign,’ Avella wrote.
The excessive spending was previously reported on LISNews .
Last year, Queens Library President Thomas Galante was paid more than the mayor or the MTA chairman, and spent $140,000 to renovate his offices at the Central Library. Meanwhile, Galante eliminated nearly 130 library jobs through layoffs and attrition over the past five years.
Story from The NY Daily News.
This story from the Seattle Public Library is a bit dated, but worth reading.
When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.
Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.
That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses, he noted in an email to KUOW), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as “neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.”
“I noticed one day that the library’s rules stated that firearms were not allowed on library property except by law enforcement,” Bowman said by email to KUOW. “I knew this rule was in violation of state law (and common sense) and brought it to their attention.”
Joe Fithian, the head of security for the library, replied to Bowman: “Much the same as eating and sleeping or being intoxicated are not against the law, (guns) are against our rules of conduct.”
But Bowman refused to back down and within two months, the library announced to its staff that it would drop the gun ban. Staff members could ask questions, but administrators were firm: On Nov. 4, the library would allow guns.
Do you allow guns at your library? Are there specific restrictions? Please comment below.
From CBC News: The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.
Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.
The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.
That is a scary prospect, according to researchers, genealogists and academics that often rely on such libraries and history to develop their work.
"Professionals and scientists who work in those departments need access to those specialized libraries to develop policy," said James Turk, president of the Canadian Association of University Professors.
"As well, other Canadians rely on those specialized libraries and there aren't other libraries that have those people and can make up for that."
From the Boston Globe:
On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines.
But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago.
Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?
But Carlisle is not alone in its decision to stop charging for late returns. Over the past few years, Massachusetts libraries have been increasingly hopping aboard the fine-free bandwagon, including institutions in Dover, Littleton, and Westford.
Read more to find out why...
Here's an opportunity for talented college-age students headed for the field of LIS:
This summer the Library of Congress once again is offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2011 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from May 29 through Aug. 3, 2012, with Library specialists and curators to inventory, describe and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital-preservation outreach activities throughout the Library.
In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Applications will be accepted online only at usajobs.gov , keyword: 308129000, from Friday, Jan. 27 through midnight, Monday, Feb. 27. For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/. Questions about the program may be sent to email@example.com.
The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. [ed. note: not positive about transgendered individuals, see previous story on LISNews.] -- Read More
Seems like insurance issues trump free speech issues.
BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Public Library board decided Thursday that, due to insurance liabilities, it must ask Occupy Bangor members to remove their tents, which went up Oct. 27 on library land, director Barbara McDade said Friday.
“We certainly will allow them to use the property to protest, but we don’t want them staying on the property 24 hours a day,” she said. “We’re supportive of the First Amendment, both freedom of assembly and freedom of speech” and “we certainly believe that they have the right to inform people of their views.”
McDade informed Occupy Bangor members of the decision even as they continue discussions about ending their six-week encampment at Peirce Park, member Lawrence Reichard said Friday.
“We have to leave by 8 a.m. Monday,” he said. “The reason is liability and liability insurance. Their insurance carrier wouldn’t cover anything involved with the encampment. The library would be exposed financially and the library would be held accountable.”
Peirce Park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and protesters have used adjacent library land, which is not city property, during times the park was closed.
Four years of podcasting with LISNews.org has been interesting. The statistics make things even more interesting. Sadly, I do not have a complete set of data points. Those that I do have worry me.
Location is key. When it comes to covering the Library & Information Science world, our main focus is not geography but instead topical matters. Based upon what data I can derive from FeedBurner's limited statistics, we may cover the right topical matters but hit all the wrong areas of geographical coverage.
From the limited geographical data I have, the bulk of listeners to LISTen: An LISNews.org Program happen to be located in places like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. US listenership actually comes in a bit lower than would be expected. This may also reflect regional preferences in how you subscribe to podcast content since the FeedBurner link is but one way to subscribe. We simply lack data for some means of subscribing to the podcast.
What can I do with having primarily a foreign audience while the content is primarily produced with a domestic US focus? Some changes in content focus may be necessary perhaps. The big problem with that is that we have virtually no budget and are tethered to the south shores of Lake Erie in a township called Ashtabula. We really do not have the assets in place to cover stories in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Expansion of assets would otherwise be necessary and we do not have a way to do so quite just yet.
The fifth year of the program is now underway. I want to make changes this year. A big one would be to secure funding for shortwave distribution. With the lessons of this year in terms of how fragile the Internet is, having a backup is important. Considering how much of the listenership is located outside North America, such would be a viable backup that would also skirt around national blacklists and firewalls.
Getting the resources to cover foreign stories is an even harder thing than simply buying blocks of airtime with money we don't have. Foreign collaborators would be necessary. Without any way to compensate them it is kinda hard to recruit such people. Indigenous correspondents would allow for better coverage anyhow compared to trying to secure a travel budget and visa clearances for international travel. We could previously handle this sort of thing through judicious use of Skype but with as unreliable as Time Warner Cable has been locally we cannot go with that option.
These speed results help illuminate what we are paying USD$39.95 to get:
The easy part is knowing what you want to do. The hard part is finding the resources to bring such to fruition. The search for resources is the big challenge for year five, it seems.
Demographic Rambling by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at erielookingproductions.info. -- Read More
A video made in an effort to prevent privitization of the Santa Clarita CA Library. Sign the petition if you so desire.
This study, conducted by the Library Resource Guide (LRG) — in conjunction with Unisphere Research, the market research division of Information Today, Inc (ITI) — in October and November 2010 among libraries listed in ITI’s American Library Directory, reveals current spending patterns for public, academic, government, and special libraries and projects budget and other spending trends for 2011.
From Information Today. You will need to register to download the report.